Title VI and LEP Updates for FY2020

From Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access –

Does your organization have a Title VI plan and know how to handle a Title VI complaint? Are there Title VI posters visible in your office and anti-discrimination policies on your website? How do people who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or speaking ability enjoy your arts program, performance or even request a ticket for admission? The new FY20 Title VI certification form will assist organizations in becoming more compliant with Title VI and LEP requirements.

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, every arts organization is required to have a plan and take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP individuals have meaningful access to programs and services, and to have policies/ procedures in place to assist individuals. All staff in an organization should know what to do and how to assist a person whose first language is not English. Assistance may include the use of language assistance lines, bilingual staff, community translators, university assistance and other resources. To ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to critical services, while not imposing undue burdens on smaller nonprofit organizations, the Tennessee Arts Commission is now offering, free of charge, access to an AVAZA language line service for its smaller grantee organizations. This service will allow an organization to call into a pre-determined phone number with an access code and get assistance for any type of language the individual speaks.  To get the AVAZA phone number and access code, visit the TN Arts website and/or the online grants management system under the “documents library.”

For more information, visit the National Endowment for the Arts Limited English Proficiency Policy for Grantees or contact Kim Johnson, 615-532-9797.